~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Buying Swiftly

A few of blog entries back I wrote about selling my Kawasaki 1600 Nomad without really thinking it through the immediate ramifications of selling the bike.  I tend to be a little impulsive about selling my bikes and usually less impulsive about buying them.   So the big Kaw left just two days before my buddy Keith was due to arrive from California with his Honda VFR 750 and expecting us to go riding together after talking about it for 30+ years.

While I was waiting a few days for the deal to go through on the Kaw I scanned Craig's List with a hurried but eagle eye for just the right bike to snap up at just the right price on the day after I had cash in hand for the Nomad.  Normally I might spend a week or three browsing, e-mailing sellers, and looking at bikes in person, but plans had been made and I didn't want to disappoint my old friend by delaying the long planned trip.   Browsing bikes for sale on Craig's List is great fun, I even do it when I'm not shopping for another bike.  It's like looking at pretty girls except that you know you stand some chance with the bikes.   Here's some of the bikes that came into serious consideration:

I had a Kawasaki 1500 Drifter back in 1999 when they came out and it's on my list of all time favorite bikes.  This one looked promising but memories of lousy storage possibilities and worrying about patching tubed tires on the highway steered me away from my old favorite.

A Kawasaki ZRX1200 seemed like it would be fun and my old VW colleague Jac would like me even more.  But I suspected that while ZRX might prove plenty fast, the bike might otherwise not offer the panache that I was also seeking.

A Suzuki VStrom 1000 appealed because my brother had one and loved it, both sizes of the VStrom enjoy a great reputation for performance and longevity, but the 30k on the odometer still concerned me a little.  I'd rather have had it's classmate, the Aprilia Caponord, but I couldn't find one at a price I could afford or within a reasonable distance.

The object of my perennial moto-lust, the 2006 Triumph Scrambler, was located over in California.  Clean, unmolested Scramblers are not that easy to find unless you're willing to travel.  The miles were low, the pictures the owner sent showed the bike to be in great shape, the color was red and I like red bikes, and best of all, Keith could stop on the way over to AZ, put the bike on the trailer with his VFR, and bring it with him.
Sadly, as the deal heated up, the owner finally told me he didn't have the title in hand, it was with a credit union.  Ack!  No, I wasn't going to give him cash, take the bike, and then wait for some credit union to mail me the title after the seller paid off his loan.   I did a deal that way once with a friend and the bike sat in my garage, un-titleable for two months because of a credit union screw up.

yes, those are the real pictures from the ad

One ad for a Harley caught my eye again and again, apparently it came with options I'd not thought of looking for.  Who wouldn't like an extra set of jugs for their bike?

I bought a new Harley back in '86 and enjoyed the bike a lot and I've never discounted the possibility of getting another one.  I could be part of the gang again and dig out all my old black t-shirts, maybe become a 60 year old  prospect for a club. 

The Ducati Multistrada, another cousin to the VStrom and the Caponord, had the exotic appeal of all Italian bikes.  I pondered it long and hard and worried that I wasn't up to the exotic shop prices for Ducati service and repair work.

And so it went, bike after bike looked at and the the possibilities discarded based on a clue in the pictures or an e-mail from the seller.  But the batch above made the final consideration for one reason or another, none of which were necessarily logical.  

Oh, there was a 2001 Kawasaki Concours that I liked and it had lots of farkles but the pictures in the ad were all upside down and it seemed like too much of an omen or at least and indication that seller might not be into paying attention to his bike.


D. Brent Miller said...

What? Where's the beef? You have teased us long enough. Give it up. What did you buy?


mq01 said...


ive got the same concern on bob re: patching tubed tires...

that harley, ok yes not bad but sh**y pipes, LMAO!

my uncle (after not riding in 15 yrs) looked at that very triumph i believe, lol, and bought the duc's super sport (and cheaper btw) olympic red cousin :) :)

hmmm... all fun candidates doug... decisions decisions...

Gymi said...

Doug, all I can say is you have the sickness, and I think you may be afflicted even more deeply than I. The only cure I know is buying the new bike. Then it starts all over again.

Gymi said...

I almost forgot, from the hanger picture below, it appears the VStrom won out.

Unknown said...


based upon your shortlist, I imagine you chose, one of the above . . . or perhaps not. You really know how to tease us all. Can't wait for "the unveiling"

Riding the Wet Coast

Geoff James said...

He bought the jugs, and is now convalescing in hospital after suffering a blow from a kitchen implement ;-)

Doug Klassen said...

No one in the kitchen these days, Geoff, I'm ridin' solo again, hence the immediate attraction to the H-D ad. :-)

Jac Brown said...

Good choices all. I can't imagine the pressure of having to buy that quickly. I might have been tempted by the Multistrada (just to experience the difference from a Capo) or the Strom.

As for the Z-Rex, I think you made a good call. You would have appreciated the seat height and the torque. The sound is wonderful (maybe not as good as your favorite Aprilia). But the rearward set pegs and forward reach handlebars might remind you too much of the Falco, without the Italian beauty and style. Also, I can't see you fitting into the hooligan, drag racer lifestyle of the ZRX crowd (I don't). Besides, you probably look better in black than green. Finally, the asking price is a grand or two too high.

Rhonda said...

So many designs to make, and none not quite right? Many you need to rent for the trip and then decide?

D. Brent Miller said...

Frankly, I think you found another Scrambler or maybe a Bonneville. I believe you said before that the Scrambler was your fantasy.


Derek said...

Just went through the same thing back in May. So many bikes, so little time.

I'm with you on the Drifter. Absolutely beautiful stock. I've seen some amazing custom jobs as well.

Well, whatever you purchased, as long as it calls to you from the shed, it can't be bad.

Adri at YouMotorcycle said...

Hahaha, love that Harley ad. You're right though, love the buying and selling... it does get to be a bit like crack, but it's great fun.

Steve said...

Look the that harley has built in air bags.....

Popular Posts

Search This Site

"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence

An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison